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“She Only Eats at School.”

January 3rd, 2012 by

Grant presented by Delta Kappa Gamma

FEED THE KIDS RECEIVES GRANT

Delta Kappa Gamma recently awarded a grant of $500 in support of Feed the Kids weekend snack bags. The Extension Homemakers also contributed the proceeds from their winter fundraiser and the Shepherd Center gave a portion of their fall session registration to support the project. Feed the Kids is funded strictly through donations with some assistance from Rice Depot and a few grants. The group is awaiting final determination from the IRS to become a 501c3 entity.

Bags prepared for students.

Feed the Kids is a snack pack weekend feeding program active in Monticello and Drew Central Schools. The mission originally started by the Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church has grown in the past five years from an experiment with six children to more than 150 children in both school districts. Children in Pre-K through 8th grade are identified by counselors, teachers, other school personnel, and sometimes even the children themselves as needing additional food.

beanie weenies to be distributed

The cost of each snack bag is about $6.00 and contains enough food to supplement a hungry child over the weekend. Clean-up bags are sent home on a quarterly basis and contain soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and seasonal items like socks, hats, and gloves. The cost to provide the bags has grown to over $2,000 per month.

Volunteers from the Methodist Youth Group, Second Baptist Church ladies’ mission group, Vera Lloyd Achievement Club, and individual community members pack and deliver the bags. The bags are packed the first Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. during the school year at the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church. For more information, to volunteer, or to donate to Feed the Kids, contact Louisa Smith, Chair 367-7439 or Allison Collins, Vice Chair 367-2987

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Posted May 16, 2011

Youth prepare bags of food for “Feed the kids”

Feed the Kids began as a project of the Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church in Monticello with a field trip by students to a member’s peach orchard. All the children were finished eating with the exception of one little girl. The teachers gathered up uneaten fruit and cookies and put them in a sack for her. They moved her to the picnic table and she continued to play her with food. When asked the reason, one teacher replied, “She only eats at school.”

Salvation Army donates $500 to “Feed the kids”.

The thought that one child would only eat when coming to school was sad and unsettling, thus Feed the Kids was born.

The effort began with a test project of six children at Drew Central because “there surely are not hungry children, hereĀ in Monticello.”

The project then rapidly expanded to 16 children in both Drew Central and Monticello K-3. The next year when the third graders moved up, the need for food was still necessary and the project expanded to include sixth grade.

This year marking the fifth year, FTK feeds 140 children in Pre-K -8 each week and over Christmas break and spring break.

The food is purchased in bulk and a few products are received from Rice Depot. Each month on the first Wednesday of each month during the school year at 6 p.m. volunteers gather in the Fellowship Hall of the First Presbyterian Church and assemble the month’s goodie bags. The bags contain a couple of meat items, juice, breakfast, fruits, and snack items. Once a quarter, clean up bags are assembled with soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, washcloth, Kleenex, and other items that are related to the season such as socks or hats. The bags are delivered each week to the schools.

Personal care items are given monthly.

The mission is no longer just a ministry of First Presbyterian Church. The Methodist Youth Group has adopted the project. Various civic groups, Sunday School classes, and individuals provide both volunteer labor and monetary support. An EHC club baked and decorated cookies at Christmas for the children, some of whom had never had a baked, much less, decorated cookie. The Monticello Elementary School art classes and UAM have also contributed the last two years with their Empty Bowls project donating proceeds to Feed the Kids. The Salvation Army recently donated $500 for food to FTK. The group has received grants for toothbrushes and some shelving in the past but the funding to purchase food comes strictly from donations within the church and community. The group has an annual fundraiser and this year a Mother’s Day basket was created with tickets sold. The drawing was held at the monthly bag assembly with Lori Wigley as the winner.

This gift basket was raffled as a fundraising project.

The students are anonymous to the volunteers. The only interest is in that a child may be hungry. Counselors, school employees, and even the kids themselves refer children. Both Monticello and Drew Central schools have been supportive in helping to identify those students and serving as liaison with parents. Some children are served long-term and some only for a short time as their situation improves. No child needs to go to school hungry or worry about where their next meal is coming from. The reality is that some kids are hungry and families are struggling to provide for their children. Feed the Kids can help in a small way.

For more information about Feed the Kids, to have a guest speaker for your group, or to make a tax deductible donation , please call Allison Collins 367-2987 or Louisa Smith 367-7439.

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9 Responses to ““She Only Eats at School.””

  1. Sheila Gardner says:

    I am an employee at Drew Central School. I have watched students pick up the bags on Fridays for the weekends. To some it is all they know they will have to eat. It is such a blessing to see what this organization is doing for our kids. I pray more people of Monticello will feel the need to support this worthy cause.

  2. Arlene Russell says:

    Feeding kids during this economy with food prices spiraling is a noble effort that deserves the support of the community. Kudos to all who do the work of “Feed the Kids” as well as those who donate to keep it running!

  3. Meredith Shirey says:

    I am also an employee of Drew Central Schools and I enjoy delivering these bags to the elementary students on Friday’s.
    This is something the “selected” students look foward to. Thanks to all the volunteers who help with donations and bagging the snacks up! This is such a wonderful thing and I hope the donations continue to come in so we can FEED THE KIDS of Drew Central and Monticello Schools!!

  4. Crystal says:

    This is so sad. I would go without before my kids do. I know people struggle now days. If there is any way that me and my family can help please let us know. We could even sponsor a child maybe if that is a possibility. I know people hate asking for help but we all need help from time to time. Its only natural. Thank you to all of the caring people who help support this cause. We should try and find bigger things to help with.

  5. FUMY says:

    Our youth group is blessed to be a behind-the-scenes part of this incredible mission. We ask that you prayerfully consider what you can do financially to help this mission. Every little bit helps! And in order for this incredible mission to continue, we must have funding!
    Checks can be mailed to Feed The Kids c/o First Presbyterian, 821 North Main Street, Monticello, AR 71655

  6. OMG says:

    A family down the road from me is having trouble feeding their
    kids,because thier father is sick alot with sorrow due to the death of his wife

    so I took to their house, 2 loafs of bread,a gallon of milk,hamburger meat,,cereal,snacks,and candy.

    when the father opened the door,I told him this is for him and his 2 kids,The man broke down and started to cry,I said I understand.

    If you need my help,just ask.I gave him my phone number.He calls about every 2 days.

    I still help him out alot,and get them food when they need it.

  7. Anna says:

    I am a Drew Central employee and help distribute the bags also. The older kids are self conscious but we take great care to be descret in helping the older children. They do appreciate it and need it. I want to thank all those who help fund this project. It is indeed a blessing.

  8. Thankful says:

    i would like to say THANKS to this church that see fit to help children in Drew County, I have known for some parents that get stamps to sell them for other items than food to feed their children. I plan on send a monthly donation, do yall do the program during the summer? HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!!!

  9. DHS Employee says:

    I read the comments about that. Parents can receive referrals to local food pantrys here in Drew county from the local DHS office and if they are they bad off surely they will qualify for SNAP(food stamps) This can be done without coming into the local DHS office if they are too embarrassed to do so. Help is out here and all our local churches are more than willing to help feed children and adults as well.

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